In scenes recalling antiquity, two panels on the lid of this casket show erotes (nude children), fighting (left) and playing music (right). The style of the animals represented on the four sides suggests that the carving was done by Italian artists drawing on Byzantine models.
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Title:Casket with Erotes and Animals
Geography:Made in Northern Adriatic
Culture:Italian or Byzantine
Medium:Bone plaques and ornamental strips over wooden casket with silk lining; copper handle, clasps, lock plate, and nails
Dimensions:Overall: 4 3/4 x 15 1/2 x 7 3/4in. (12.1 x 39.4 x 19.7cm)
Credit Line:Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Georges Hoentschel (French)(1911); J. Pierpont Morgan (American), London and New York (until 1917)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Year 1200: A Centennial Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 12–May 10, 1970.
Bell Gallery, List Art Center, Brown University. "Survival of the Gods: Classical Mythology in Medieval Art," February 28–March 29, 1987.
Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University. "The Carver's Art: Medieval Sculpture in Ivory, Bone, and Horn," September 9-November 21, 1989.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Glory of Byzantium," March 11–July 6, 1997.
Pératé, André. Collections Georges Hoentschel: Ivoires, orfèvrerie religieuse, pierres. Vol. 2. Paris: Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts, 1911. no. 10, fig. X.
Nye, Phila Calder. "The Oblong Caskets of the Byzantine Period." American Journal of Archaeology 23, no. 4 (October–December 1919). pp. 406–7, fig. 5.
Breck, Joseph. "Pre-Gothic Ivories in the Pierpont Morgan Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, o.s., 15, no. 1 (January 1920). p. 14.
Breck, Joseph, and Meyric R. Rogers. The Pierpont Morgan Wing: A Handbook. 1st ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1925. p. 46.
Dalton, O. M. East Christian Art: A Survey of the Monuments. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1925. p. 214.
Eastman, Alvin C. "Byzantine Ivory Caskets in American Museums." Art in America 15, no. 4 (June 1927). pp. 157–60, 166, fig. 3.
Breck, Joseph, and Meyric R. Rogers. The Pierpont Morgan Wing: A Handbook. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1929. p. 46.
Goldschmidt, Adolph, and Kurt Weitzmann. Die Byzantinischen Elfenbeinskulpturen des X.-XIII. Jahrhunderts. Vol. 1. Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1930. no. 57a–e, pp. 13, 15, 17, 19, 44–45, fig. 57a–e, pl. XXXVIII.
Hoffmann, Konrad, ed. The Year 1200: A Centennial Exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 1. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1970. no. 76, pp. 67–69.
Survival of the Gods: Classical Mythology in Medieval Art. Providence, R.I.: Brown University, 1987. no. 15, pp. 54–55.
Jordan, Annemarie. "The Quest for Immortality: The Metamorphoses of Hercules." In Survival of the Gods: Classical Mythology in Medieval Art. Providence, R.I.: Brown University, 1987. p. 15, (as cat. no. 15).
St. Clair, Archer, and Elizabeth Parker McLachlan, ed. The Carver's Art: Medieval Sculpture in Ivory, Bone, and Horn. New Brunswick, N.J.: Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, 1989. no. 18, pp. 53–54.
Connor, Carolyn L. "New Perspectives on Byzantine Ivories." Gesta 30, no. 2 (1991). pp. 102–03, fig. 4.
Evans, Helen C., and William D. Wixom, ed. The Glory of Byzantium: Art and Culture of the Middle Byzantine Era, A.D. 843–1261. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1997. no. 342, pp. 504–05.
Connor, Carolyn L. The Color of Ivory: Polychromy on Byzantine Ivories. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1998. p. 84.
Krohn, Deborah L., Ulrich Leben, and Daniëlle O. Kisluk-Grosheide, ed. Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York and New Haven: Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, 2013. p. 167, fig. 131a.
Shalem, Avinoam. Die mittelalterlichen Olifante: Volume 1, Text. Die Elfenbeinskulpturen. Berlin: Deutscher Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft, 2014. pp. 80–81, fig. 86.
Luyster, Amanda, ed. Bringing the Holy Land Home: The Crusades, Chertsey Abbey, and the Reconstruction of a Medieval Masterpiece. Turnhout, BEL: Harvey Miller Publishing, 2023. Fig. 120, pp. 277–278.
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